August 28, 2013 STAFF/STU

50th anniversar​y of the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs

August 28, 1963, goes down in history as the largest protest that Washington, D.C., has ever seen before and since. Civil Rights leaders called for and led the march in search of freedom and jobs. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of only a handful of people in our history that had a major impact on the 20th century.

As the figurehead of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was a powerful force for the message of peace and equality for everyone. Dr. King’s non-violent approach brought him and the movement great respect from people and organizations all around the world.

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington gives us an opportunity to remember a national hero and to renew our individual and collective commitment to creating a world of equality for all citizens of “every color and creed.”

Dr. King’s speech, titled “I Have A Dream,” still rings loudly in our ears and everyone knows at least a small part of that speech:

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.”

“So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last!”

And so, let us take this day to remember the freedoms we have today, have not always been guaranteed. We must continue in our quest for justice; through our daily work, through our community service and involvement and periodically looking back at the work of those who came before us. Listening to the “I Have A Dream” speech to jog our memory of the work that we need to continue. I often hear people say, “Things are better now but they can get a whole lot better.” What are we doing individually and collectively to help move the country/world even further in the continuing struggle for equality, freedom, and justice?